It’s hard to state just how adored Craig Sager is within NBA culture, but Carmelo Anthony did his best on the eve of their gold medal game against Serbia on Sunday.
“We wish you could be here with us,” Anthony said. “We know how bad you wanted to be here and be a part of this. I just want to say we appreciate you, and thank you, and we’re going to bring home the gold for you.”
Stricken by leukemia, Sager stayed home for rest and treatment instead of making the trip to Rio, with Golden State Warriors sideline reporter Rosalyn Gold-Onwude taking his place for the NBA telecasts. Gold-Onwude is an eminent, knowledgable pro and rising broadcast star, but no one can match Sager in sheer positive vibes. Anytime he’s part of an NBA game, his indelible outfits and amiable presence make the game more watchable. Just look at this guy:
Here’s to hoping Sager gets over the hump with his health and has a long, illustrious run of reporting ahead of him in the 2016-17 NBA season. The game needs the very literal color he brings to it. Even basketball’s grumpaholic emeritus Gregg Popovich knows that. Be well, Craig.